December 07, 2012

Friday Food ~ Stroganoff

I just had this deliciousness for lunch! It's a family favorite for my husband and I, and little Isaac loves it too! There is a little tang in the sauce, which makes it really rich and flavorful. Using the blender for the sauce makes this elegant meal actually very easy! I love easy...who doesn't love easy!?     

Vegetarian Beef Stroganoff
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cups soy milk
1 cup chopped vegetarian steak (I like to use a 13 ounce can of Worthington Prime Stakes)
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ribbon pasta or cooked rice
Sauté onion with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until they are lightly browned.  Place the flour, salt, margarine, soy sauce, and milk in a blender. Blend until well combined. Add the liquid into the sautéed onion. Heat until thick and bubbly. Add the sour cream and chopped vegetarian steak. Heat through. Serve over pasta ribbons or cooked rice.

December 06, 2012

Friday Food ~ Green Rice with Garbanzos

Something easy to make for dinner . . . yes, please! I developed this recipe recently when I was in the mood for spinach, but didn't want to just cook it plain. I wanted a one-dish-meal and this is what resulted! You've got protein from the garbanzo beans, vegetables from the spinach, olives, and onion. The rice (which could be brown rice if you wanted), completes the all-in-one idea. I served it with some whole wheat dinner rolls, Sister Schubert's from the frozen section are our favorite. The side salad you see is really simple. Tomatoes, avocado, hearts of palm mixed with a little lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. YUM!

Green Rice with Garbanzos
1 cup cooked rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups frozen spinach
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup vegetarian chicken-flavored broth
1 5 ounce can of sliced olives
1 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon seasoned salt

Place olive oil and chopped onion in large skillet on medium heat. Sauté until the onions are soft and clear. Add the chicken-flavored broth and spinach and cook on medium for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and heat through.

July 25, 2012

Jennifer's Baby Shower

Last Sunday, a fun group of women and myself had a great time celebrating our friend Jennifer's soon-to-arrive baby girl! Alex, the hostess, made so many creative and special foods and decorations and gifts! It was BEAUTIFUL . . . and everything was delicious!
The "spread"!  All was made by Alex, except the too salads I brought! Oh, and the cake was made by a well-known local bakery who always do an excellent job! Alex found so many great ideas on Pinterest and made them come to life! It was amazing!
Jennifer and me at her shower!

I tried out a new recipe for the shower! This is Mediterranean Orzo Salad! It was really yummy! The eggplant in it was wonderful! So easy to make, too!
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
2 TB extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups cubed eggplant
3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup orzo
2 tsp. capers
1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup minced red bell peppers
2/3 cup pitted chopped mixed olives
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
ground black pepper to taste
grated feta cheese or Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 X 12 baking dish. Mix olive oil, eggplant, salt, and garlic together and roast in dish for 20-30 minutes. Cook the orzo pasta according to the package. Drain well. Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl. Allow the pasta and eggplant to cool to room temperature. Add eggplant last and serve with grated cheese, if desired.

 (This recipe is from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook.)

July 23, 2012

Quick Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

Quick Cinnamon Breakfast Cake
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
2 envelopes of rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup warmed milk
1/4 cup melted margarine
1 egg (I use EnerG Egg Replacer)
Mix together and let rest 10 minutes.
Cinnamon topping:
3 TB melted margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
Icing: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1-2 TB milk, 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
After the dough has rested, place it in a small square baking dish (9 X 9 approximately). Sprinkle the cinnamon and nuts mixture on top. Bake in cold oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then drizzle with icing and serve.

April 25, 2012

Spiritual Growth and Motherhood

As a Mom, I know maintaining and strengthening my faith and spiritual life is so important. Staying connected to the saving power of Jesus is necessary all the time, but even more soo when our family life and household duties get us overwhelmed or frustrated. When we have the power of a living, thriving relationship with Christ, then He carries burdens for us, guides us through the toughest parts of life, and keeps us moving forward to more joy and more abiding faith.

This relationship I have with Christ, reminds me of my marriage in some ways, because I am committed to my husband through the great times and the mediocre times, and the really difficult times. Likewise, with Jesus, I will find that some times I feel more distant, but the commitment is still there. There will be times when I have to focus on important things, like feeding my newborn baby every 2-3 hours, and I won't have as much time for "dates" with Christ, but I will still be "married" to Him and in a relationship with Him. I always hunger and thirst for quiet time to read the Bible and pray, and I will do those things as much as possible, adjusting my life to accommodate these precious times of devotion and growth. If, I don't make time for Christ, then the relationship will suffer, just like a marriage suffers if the two people don't have open communication and or spend time alone together to connect and show each other love.

 There are times, however, when the stuff of life gets in the way and I cruise for a while, not really growing, but not really dying either. Complacency is in some ways even worse than being dead, because you no longer have motivation or desire. This can happen to us Moms as we get overwhelmed by all that is involved with family life and keeping up the house, but we need to notice when our spiritual "refrigerator" is getting empty and restock it. Just like we have to provide physical food for our families and go out and buy it and prepare it and serve it, in the same way we need to be responsible for our own spiritual food--getting it, eating it, and digesting it. Once we take the time to "eat" the Bible, pray, and put the principles into action, we will be stronger and stronger spiritually!

Faith grows as we spend time with Christ, learning from His words and sharing our thoughts and activities with Him. I am so busy sometimes with just keeping up with the necessities of living this life on this earth, that I don't think about heaven and eternal life. This world is so so temporary and the life with Jesus in heaven and throughout eternal life is so permanent and will last beyond all time.  I am going to make a specific effort to think about heaven at least once a day. I might turn off the radio in the car and describe to myself and my kids in the car what I think heaven will be like, what I want to ask Jesus about, and what I want to do up there that I probably won't get to do down here on earth. I want to make this a real part of my life.

My roses are really blooming right now in our backyard, and they remind me of a thriving, beautiful, Christian life....there may be thorns, but with Jesus watering our lives, shining his Son-shine on us, and the nutrients of his Bread of life--the Bible, then we are sure to find our life full of beautiful blooms representing the hope and joy of being connected to our Savior Jesus Christ.

December 09, 2011

Friday Food ~ Veggie Chicken Noodle Soup

Veggie Chicken Noodle Soup
12 cups water
3 TB McKay's Chicken Seasoning (vegetarian chicken seasoning powder)
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
1 can Worthington FriChik, chopped (vegetarian chicken substitute)
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. sea salt
1 TB dry parsley flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 16 oz. package ruffle noodles (or your favorite type)

Place everything except the noodles in a large kettle. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and slow boil until vegetables are soft, about 15-20 minutes. Add the pasta and cook another 10 minutes or until noodles are large, soft and fluffy. Serve with your favorite sandwiches, like grilled cheese.

December 07, 2011

Wednesday Away ~ Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge is located in the Olympic National Park in Washington. During our vacation this past summer, we drove the Hurricane Ridge Road after my brother recommended it. Earlier in the day we had hiked in the Hoh Rainforest and visited Marymere falls. Olympic is an awesome park for hiking and even the views while driving were incredible. Hurricane Ridge had some of the best scenic views we had seen all day It was amazing! The weather was beautiful and clear that day, so I was able to capture the far distant views in this photo. I used the Velvia effect in Photoshop to enhance the colors. If you take a vacation to the North West, I highly recommend Olympic National Park, and take some time to explore Hurricane Ridge. We didn't hike up there, because it was the end of the day for us, but they do have some really nice looking trails, too.